About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/30/16 – 2:00 P.M.

The Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau is looking to build on the gains of the past year. CVB Director Alyssa Preston spoke to the Findlay Rotary Club Tuesday, saying that 2015 was a record year. Bed tax receipts were more than $577,000, and hotel stays topped 290,000.

Preston says one way to grow that number is to bring more small meetings to Findlay and Hancock County. She says that her office will work aggressively to have more groups host their meetings in our area.

Another driving factor behind the number of hotel stays is sports tournaments. Preston says the Ohio Golf Association’s Ohio Amateur tournament along with softball and baseball tournaments brought in more than $486,000 to the community.

Preston also says the CVB is increasingly reaching out to the rural community. Preston says one example of that effort was the launch of the “Heart & Soul” program in McComb.

She adds that of the more than 350 events the CVB assisted with last year, more than 70 were focused on rural areas.

Preston says her office plans to continue that effort going forward. She says they’ll be bringing county-wide event education and financial support for rural programming in the coming months.

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8/30/16 – 11:21 A.M.

Ohio’s new medical marijuana law goes into effect on September 8, but that doesn’t mean local businesses have to allow their employees to use the drug. Karen Pierce of Working Partners says there are protections for employers built into the rules…

Audio: Karen Pierce

Pierce says businesses can’t be sued for enforcing anti-drug policies, even if the employee has a medical marijuana card.

Pierce suggests area businesses review their policies on employee drug use…

Audio: Karen Pierce

Pierce says the new law allows companies to continue to enforce employee drug policies, even if an employee has a medical marijuana card.

Pierce adds the new law could cause operational issues for businesses…

Audio: Karen Pierce

Pierce says that in states that have some form of legal pot, positive tests go up. Pierce says that leads to less qualified applicants for good jobs.

Pierce spoke to members of the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. Her company focuses on creating drug-free workplace policies for businesses.

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8/30/16 – 8:14 A.M.

A Findlay street will be closed for repaving work the next two days. The city’s engineering department says work will take place on Liberty Street between Elm and Sandusky Streets. The road will be closed until 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, but will reopen both evenings.

You’re asked to avoid the area if possible.

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8/30/16 – 5:26 A.M.

A Fostoria company continues to grow. The Review-Times reports Mennel Milling has bought Renwood Mills of Newton, North Carolina. Renwood has a large flour mill and a 12-ton corn mill as well as a state-of-the-art packing facility. The company produces Southern Biscuit and TendaBake brands of flour and mix along with private label retail products.

The move comes after the recent announcement Mennel Milling had reached a deal to buy a General Mills facility in Marion County. That deal is expected to close in November.

MORE: Review-Times

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8/30/16 – 5:17 A.M.

The Hancock Park District will be monitoring birds and restoring habitats at the Oakwoods Nature Preserve this weekend, and your help is needed. The district will work on habitat restoration from 10:30 a.m. until noon Saturday. Tools will be provided to help remove invasive species. You’re asked to bring gloves, bug spray, and to dress for the weather.

Bird monitoring will take place starting at 8 a.m. The event will include hiking as well. Another bird monitoring event will take place September 30 at Bright Farm. September is a good time to see migrating songbirds.

For more information on the events call (419)424-1555.

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8/30/16 – 5:07 A.M.

Arcadia officials want to apply for state funds to help pay for resurfacing part of North Main Street. The Courier reports a special meeting on the subject will be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the town hall on Gibson Street to talk about the issue.

Village council wants to mill North Main Street between East Brown Road and East South Street before it is repaved. The project has been estimated to cost around $207,000. If the project is approved by the state, the village would have to pay $57,000 toward the work. Funding would also include a $75,000 low-interest loan to Arcadia.

Council has until September 9 to submit the request to the state.

MORE: The Courier

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8/30/16 – 4:56 A.M.

Labor Day is coming up, and local law enforcement is ready to crack down on drunk driving during the final three-day weekend of the summer. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office will take part in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. During the next several days you’ll see increased messages about the dangers of driving drunk. There will also be sobriety checkpoints around the region and extra officers on patrol.

Sgt. Matt Kinsinger tells the Courier drunk driving is, “an unacceptable problem.” He added driving while intoxicated is, “selfish and dangerous.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 40 percent of the fatal crashes during the Labor Day holiday in 2014 involved drunk drivers.

MORE: The Courier

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8/29/16 – 8:51 A.M.

Gas prices are higher as we start the new work week. OhioGasPrices.com reports the average price for a gallon of regular is $2.19 in Findlay today. That’s up 11 cents from last Monday.

Prices in Ottawa are relatively flat over the past week. The average in Ottawa is $2.18 today, up from $2.16 a week ago.

Prices around the state are flat as well. The statewide average is $2.18 per gallon today, up two cents from last week.

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8/29/16 – 8:25 A.M.

A recent OVI checkpoint in Wood County paid tribute to a former University of Findlay wrestler. The State Highway Patrol says the Saturday night enforcement effort in Bowling Green was done in honor of Mitch Airing. Airing was killed in an alcohol-related crash in 2012. He had been the head wrestling coach at Liberty Center High School for six years.

Of the more than 1,100 cars to come through the checkpoint, seven drivers were diverted for further inspection. One driver was charged with drunken driving. Three others were cited for marijuana possession.

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8/29/16 – 7:33 A.M.

Several Findlay streets will be repaved this week. You can expect closures on Marilyn Drive between Goldenrod and Lilac lanes; Lilac Lane between Carlee and Bittersweet; and Goldenrod from Carlee to Bittersweet. There will also be repaving projects on Orchard Lane from Lilac to Western Avenue; Washington Street between Hurd and Western, and Clinton Court from Blanchard Street to Central Parkway.

Elsewhere curb replacement projects continue on Osborn Avenue between Wedgewood and Sandusky, as well as on McManness Avenue between East Main Cross and Center Street.

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